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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tidings of Fear by Ericka Scott

Tidings of Fear by Ericka Scott
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (150 pgs)
Heat: Hot
Rated: 3 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

A psychic, a skeptic, and a serial killer...

Psychic Lia Morgan sees portents all around her. Although estranged from her family, she joins the search for her missing sister. A simple case gets complicated fast when she discovers her sister's plethora of secrets includes a son.

Professor Jared Trimble's world has no room for paranormal mumbo-jumbo. When asked to consult on a case involving a series of crossword puzzles, he's conflicted. Is he a suspect, or an investigator?

While Lia uses her physic gift and follows signs, Jared uses his wits and experience. When the two collide, passions flare and the final clue brings them both into the bullseye of a serial killer's target.

Tidings of Fear starts off – quite dramatically – in the predator’s mind. We see his trap laid, we understand his desire. Ms. Scott’s opening is cleverly and intriguingly dramatic. This reader was hooked on sentence number one.

We, like Lisa, the missing woman’s sister, are immediately concerned. Lia Morgan will of coursen begin investigating her sister’s disappearance, and she does have an ace in her hands: psychic power. She’s joined by various family and one concerned outsider: Professor Jared Trimble. Jared has a right to be concerned,  since he is also a suspect.

Right away we have the clash of technique: Lisa using paranormal abilities, (or attempting to, to her occasional frustration.) while Jared is a straight-laced man of science. This causes an enormous amount of tension. As if there weren’t intrigue enough, Lisa uncovers disturbing evidence of her sister’s life and various entanglements.

The personalities here alone are enough to keep you reading, but the storyline is also well done, not too complex and continually intriguing. There are certainly unpleasant elements uncovered, but I hated reading some of the points that probably weren’t meant to convey what they actually did (like the good professor apparently not having the ethics to keep his hands off students). Yet, I suppose it gives Trimble that sleazy aura that makes him so useful as a suspect.

The investigation, the clues – heck, even the crossword puzzles and their tricky relating clues, all prove intriguing but sadly, I liked the actual characters less and less. They all had their admirable qualities…and perhaps humanizing faults…but I started to lose interest when I really start to dislike the main characters. It is hard to dismiss the just plain creepy aura that hovers around Trimble, and is never truly addressed.

Scott’s suspenseful romance falls short in some aspects, but it has a well-built and intriguing plot that will appeal to mystery lovers. The cover does nothing to convey the storyline. Ignore that and select this story anyway: it is an enjoyable read.